Dengue 101: For virus with 0.1% mortality rate, biologist offers prescription

A good diet, clean environment are key to fighting the menace.

Madiha Asif September 24, 2011


“Dengue is curable,” said Prof. Dr Noor-ul-Kabir, a professor of molecular medicine at the Panjwani Centre of Molecular Medicine in Karachi University. He was addressing a seminar held for awareness about the condition on Saturday.

He said that dengue sprang up because of stagnant water in areas with heavy rain. But nevertheless, it is curable. According to him, it is not necessarily entirely caused by a virus but by negligence. “Dengue has a mortality rate of 0.1%, and it is very upsetting to see it affecting peoples lives so much.” He felt that medicines are helpful 10% and the remaining 90% depends on a healthy diet which keeps our immune system strong.

Dr Kabir said that in a developing country like Pakistan, the provision of medical services is still very deficient. But dengue can be easily diagnosed by its clinical features and quick diagnostic kits available in the market.

Initially, the condition might appear as a viral infection, with severe headache, high fever and muscular pain. It cannot be distinguished at the early stage unless a rash appears on the skin.

“One needs to press it [the rash] hard to check if it bleeds,” said Kabir. “If the rash stops and bleeds again, then it is dengue.” The condition causes an immunological breakdown of platelets and bone marrow depression.

According to the researcher, no specific treatment is required for dengue. “Taking medicines may kill the virus but does not reverse the platelet breakdown,” he said.

The blood should be monitored constantly. He did not give much credit to remedies such as the extract of papaya leaf and fresh apple juice with lemon. “I leave people on their own when they talk about such treatments.”

Since dengue cannot be controlled by a vaccination, the source of mosquitoes should be eliminated, stressed the researcher. While DTD sprays are effective, quick and cheap, they also destroy crops. The best way to keep from getting infected is keeping a clean environment.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2011.


Dengue Buster | 11 years ago | Reply

A lot of misleading information in this article which can lead to more cases & deaths.

Dengue is uncurable- no vaccine & no antiviral drug. The most you can do is to manage the patients- hydrate the patient, give anti-fever drug, provide platelete transfusion if hemorraghing. Extract from papaya leaf is known to induce production of platelletes, but NOT antiviral activity.

Control of dengue is based on controlling the mosquito vectors- Aedes aegypti & Aedes albopictus. The first step is to identify what is (are) the mosquito vectors(s) & deal with it. Must understand the biology of the mosquito vector- all Aedes vectors breed in CONTAINERS- natural (coconut shell, tree-hole,..........) and aritificial (piles, tin, tank......) with CLEAR (not necessarily clean) water. Then eliminate these sources. Use fogging of insecticide to kill infective female mosquitoes to interrupt the transmission.

Also need good diagnostic labs - can't tell dengue based on symptoms as all viral fevers look alike!

Good Luck!

Mohammed Sulemann | 11 years ago | Reply

Papaya Leaves:

Raw papaya leaves, 2 pieces just cleaned, pounded and squeezed with filter cloth. You will only get one tablespoon per leaf. So two tablespoons per serving once a day. Do not boil or cook or rinse with hot water, it will lose its strength. Only the leafy part and no stem or sap. It is very bitter and you have to swallow it like ‘Wong Low Kat’. But it works.

Add in 1 Glass of Apple Juice, a tea spoon of Lemon Juice drink it daily. It works too

Never Used Aspirin, Despirin. Used Paracetamol.

Mohammed Sulemann Karachi, Pakistan.

Please spread this Message and save life.

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